By Jim Beard
Marvel Comics announces with much pride the addition of superstar artist Mike McKone to the already-awesome list of illustrators to lend their talents to the wallcrawler's hot, thrice-monthly book, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
Known for his bombastic work on such Marvel titles as FANTASTIC FOUR and EXILES, McKone's inclusion onto team Spidey also marks his return to the House of Ideas.
Excited Editor Steve Wacker dishes on the new recruit and how the artist got so lucky: "Mike got this gig just by being an artist I've liked for a long time. I dropped an e-mail to him out of the blue, he got back to me and we worked out. The Secrets Behind the Comics, folks!!!"
Though McKone's excelled on every title he's wrangled, his star shines brightest on team books. Able to juggle multiple figures, he's impressed readers with clear layouts and expressive, individualistic features. How does the singular Spider-Man fit into the artist's vocabulary?
"Given the size of the cast, Spider-Man is like a team book in many ways," notes Wacker. "But Mike also does a great job handling Spidey on a page. He's bouncy, a little creepy and really just feels right. Mike's also a really good 'actor' in that characters are rarely just standing around. His characters always have something going on whether it's as simple as a hand gesture or using a prop.
"Mike's work is just alive."
The three-times-monthly AMAZING SPIDER-MAN hits fans with the kind of bouncy storylines Wacker describes, gifted by a cadre of creative writers. As is necessary for a project this big and time-sensitive, McKone's already well ahead on his Spider-assignments.
"Mike's working with Bob Gale in a story that explores the world of the Bookie and his underground supervillain betting parlor," enthuses Wacker. "It's also got Coney Island and bumper cars, so it's got all the ingredients ya need for a good Spider-Man story!"
Will McKone design any new villains, so far a staple of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN's bold new era?
"Sort of," teases Wacker. "He's bringing back Spidey's old foes the Enforcers, though!"
One might wonder if given the acquisition of McKone, of the realistic school of Spidey-style, a conscious sense of artistic "continuity" on ASM exists with Wacker.
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"Other than character and location consistency, I don't want to create a house style for the book," he says. "With 36 of these issues every year, there's plenty of room for artists to come in and show us what they would do with the character. Spidey is such a classic character because he lends himself to so many differing interpretations and I don't want to fight against that."
Wacker then takes us out fittingly with his favorite McKone work to-date: "It was Teen Titans, but then I saw his first Spidey cover [#562].
"I may be biased, but man, is he good on Spider-Man."
Bounce back to Marvel.com for all the news and updates on Mike McKone and the entire AMAZING SPIDER-MAN saga.
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